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Archives from October 2009
Rush Limbaugh and the NFL
Now that it’s safe for ESPN to discuss Rush Limbaugh at length, we know Dave Checketts has dropped Limbaugh from his investment group seeking to purchase the St. Louis Rams. The fear here is that the players who spoke out against Limbaugh and NFLPA chief D...
A Kafkaesque Deportation
Julio Maldonado faces flying into an uncertain future if federal authorities succeed in deporting this former construction worker to Peru, the South American country he left 39-years-ago as a three-year-old child. Maldonado faces deportation due to dictates of...
Hypocrisy Unbridled
I learned my first lesson in capitalism when I was a kid during the Great Depression of the 1930s. (Yes, I was a teenager in 1933) In our living room, we had only one electric light bulb. It hung down from the middle of the ceiling on an electric wire. My fat...
On Harvard’s Financial Crisis
To Michael D. Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences October 20 2009 Dear Professor Smith: I read with great interest as I am sure we all did your letter regarding Harvard’s finances. It’s a long document, many parts of...
The Next Financial Crisis Hits Wall Street, as Judges Start Nixing Foreclosures
The financial tsunami unleashed by Wall Street’s esurient alchemy of spinning toxic home mortgages into triple-A bonds, a process known as securitization, has set off its second round of financial tremors. After leaving mortgage investors, bank sharehol...
Uncle Sam in Afghanistan
Almost eight years after choosing Hamid Karzai to head the Afghan government, Uncle Sam would like to give him a pink slip. But it’s not easy. And the grim fiasco of Afghanistan’s last election is shadowing the next. Another display of electioneeri...
Syria’s Golan Heights
Qunaitra Nationals from nearly one-third of the 192 member states of the United Nations met in Damascus last week to discuss the Return/Liberation of the Golan Heights.   An estimated 5000 researchers, lawyers, politicians, activists, victims of Isra...
Searching for a Minyan
This weekend, J Street, a new Jewish “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” PAC and Washington-based organization is holding its first national conference. The two of us, along with another artist, were to perform and read poems at several sessions during the conference...
Herta Müller’s Nobel
I just wonder if, as an American and English-speaker only, I’m somehow missing out on a lot of erstwhile magnificent literature because it isn’t translated into my mother tongue, and if this is so, why? Comment...
A Very Important Liar
Luis Posada Carriles is a real VIP enjoying unique courtesies and privileges not offered to other dignitaries and celebrities. But he is also a self-confessed and duly certified international terrorist. Posada began his long carrier with the early actions aga...
The Adoption of the Goldstone Report
The endorsement of the UN Human Rights Council of the report of South African Justice Richard Goldstone on the war on Gaza, despite American and British criticism, Washington’s repeated objections to the report, Israeli threats, the delays and different interpr...
Farce in Kabul, Tragedy in Pakistan
A few weeks ago the UN headman in Kabul, a woodenheaded Norwegian, decided that the recent Presidential elections were fine and Karzai was a legitimate ruler. His deputy, Peter Galbraith, the unofficial representative of the State Department, was enraged (since the U...
Does Citibank Need China?
Most of the economists and pundits who could not see an $8 trillion housing bubble are telling us that the United States desperately needs for the Chinese government to keep buying its debt. This crew of failed analysts argues that without the support of the Chinese ...
Pensions: the Next Casualty of Wall Street
Nobody wants to admit it, but the next casualty of the Wall Street meltdown will probably be your golden years. For years corporations have been trying to choke the life out of traditional pensions, working hard to get out from under the risk—and the cost&mdash...
Can the Democrats Avoid a Populist Health Care Rebellion?
The leadership of the Democratic Party is on the verge of passing health insurance reform. The centerpiece of the “reform” is requiring Americans to buy overpriced insurance from private corporations. But, it is evident that many in the Democratic voting ...
Autumn in Shanghai
Shanghai is modernity in action, it is up for business, its many staggering new high-rise buildings, spear the imagination as well as the sky. It is saturated with festive almost unreal glamour, it is soaking in wealth, it is overwhelmingly proud and yet, it is human...
Et Tu, CodePink?
Eight years into the war on Afghanistan — and with no end in sight — seems a peculiar time for antiwar activists to claim that U.S. forces need to stay there even longer for the sake of the Afghan people. Yet Yifat Susskind, Communications Directo...
Chronicle of a Tormenta Electrica, II
Mexico City. Monday morning broke broodingly over Mexico City.  The headlines on a score of newspapers hanging from Vicente Ramirez’s kiosk were universal loas for Calderon’s heroic seizure of Luz y Fuerza del Centro.  As usual, La Jornad...
Depleted Uranium Weapons
The horrors of the US Agent Orange campaign in Vietnam, about which I wrote on Oct. 15, could ultimately be dwarfed by the horrors of the depleted uranium weapons which the US began using in the 1991 Gulf War (300 tons), and which it used much more extensively, and i...
Down in the Valley With Cesar
[Author’s note: I worked for the United Farm Workers Union during a sabbatical leave in the winter of 1977. I was made Research Director and spent my time investigating the growers, helping out in negotiations, and testifying in unfair labour practi...
Outside Agitator
“People should be entertaining or useful; preferably both” –Sun Bear The sun set late on a warm mid-summer day. The full moon rose slowly; glistening off the glaciers of Mt Jefferson. Lamar Marshall blew away ...
Swine Fools
Looking back, there were simple prophylactic measures to prevent oneself getting sick with the virus du jour.  First of all, one should have gotten rid of any homo sapiens americanus in the immediate sphere.  Zookeepers from our planet attest it is a danger...
War, Peace and the Obamajority
Two weeks ago I stood on the banks of a river that 64 years ago had been clogged with so many bodies that you could literally walk from bank to bank on the backs of carbonized corpses. The horror of Hiroshima, and of Nagasaki, it is difficult to describe. No m...
Zionism: an Anti-Semite’s Dream?
In a commentary published in the Arab News (Jeddah) on October 17, the British journalist Neil Berry focuses on a reality which is rarely mentioned in polite society: that Zionism is, and has always been, an anti-Semite’s dream come true, offering the hope that...
Tea Baggers and Birchers?
By now, word has gotten out that FreedomWorks, the right wing organization chaired by Dick Armey, that advocates for lower taxes, and smaller government, is the same group behind tea baggers who opposed Obama’s stimulus plan. Protests against the $787 billion c...